Memories of Tremblant . . . Priceless

By Stella Rossovskaia

Tremblant in my memory is a collection of the bright sparks of heartwarming moments . . . although Tremblant can be very cold at times. I remember the rays of early morning sunshine while gliding with friends on the perfect velvet corduroy of First Tracks.  Skiing Tremblant is like a smooth dance that travels around the mountain’s perfectly groomed wide slopes with stunning views. “Rising and falling” like perfect waltz steps in a sparkling ballroom of blue sky and crystal chandeliers of snow and ice on the trees.

The name, Mont Tremblant, was derived from the Algonquin people, who called it the “trembling mountain”.  “Climb every mountain”, “Edelweiss”, “Blue Danube” or other beautiful music is usually playing in my mind when I ski at Tremblant. These memories are of moments of love for life, dear friends, mountains, sunshine and the snow.

I remember finishing the descent of the mountain (on skis or hiking the snowshoeing trails) via Panache trails surrounded by the trees and chalets, crossing little bridges, inhaling the aroma of the pine trees and fireplaces. While skiing with our club’s expert instructors, I remember taking the deep dive on the St Bernard diamond run straight into the village, with the view ahead of colourful buildings, skiers & boarders lined up at the gondola and the vibrant après ski scene at the base of the mountain.

I saw a tiny picture in a travel magazine once of Tremblant and fell in love with the picturesque alpine village with the big snowy mountain. I learned cross country skiing in school and decided to go with the flow, travelling was my main inspiration.  I joined the club 14 years ago to travel to Tremblant. In my first season I took a few downhill lessons, made many friends and that March I felt like I was flying on the Tremblant slopes, with a crew of happy beginners just like me.

That same year I volunteered for the Long Trips Committee.  In my second year I lead a trip to Tremblant in March – perfect for spring skiing and to finish the season strongly after building my skills and confidence during the few months of winter.

Inspired by the people I have met in the club, and also by my favourite Cirque du Soleil, I organized an Après ski party trip with the theme “Tremblant du Soleil”.  We watched a mix of Cirque du Soleil shows and Warren Miller movies on the bus, sharing jokes and laughter. At the party, a few members surprised us with their creative outfits, accessories and make-up. Seeing everybody’s happy faces after great ski days – priceless. Those moments of friendship are unforgettable.

The history of Tremblant as a ski resort has started as a one man’s dream. Joseph Ryan, an explorer from a wealthy American family from Philadelphia, who came to the region looking for gold in 1938 with friends. They climbed to the summit of Mont Tremblant with skis wrapped in seal skins for traction. After an exhausting trek to the summit, it is said that Joseph Ryan vowed to transform the landscape into a world-class alpine village. Only one year later, his dream was realized. In 1939, Joseph Ryan opened the Mont Tremblant Lodge and installed the first lift chair. The history of the resort includes rising and falling moments, ambitious investments and bankruptcies. The village we know now was developed by Intrawest, which expanded the pedestrian village with architecture reminiscent of traditional Quebec and built new ski lifts, including the gondola . Other changes included building the Grand Manitou summit lodge and a casino located at the base of the Soleil trails. Intrawest also transformed Blue Mountain and Whistler. Tremblant and Whistler have held the title of  #1 Ski resorts in Eastern and overall North America, partially thanks to the beautiful and well planned villages.

HPSC has a long history with Tremblant. The club’s very first New Year’s Eve trip was to Mt. Tremblant to ring in the Centennial year in 1966-67. In the 1970s HPSC rented chalets in Tremblant (and also at Sutton and Blue Mountain).

I’ve been to Tremblant with the club many times. The most memorable trips being the 75th anniversary celebration of Tremblant and the year of our club’s 65th anniversary celebration. Some of the most precious moments for me are singing on the bus “Those were the days, my friends” – a song our members used to sing at the end of each day on overnight trips during the ‘60s and ‘70s; a tradition now forgotten, although remembered and shared with me by our instructors; as well as waltzing down and singing Blue Danube out loud and of course dancing.

Any Tremblant experience must include après ski at Place Saint-Bernard plaza with a live concert or DJ on stage in the spring and dancing at Le P’tit Caribou. We usually form a large circle on the dance floor and lead the dance starting early on and leaving just in time to rest before First Tracks the next day. The key is to dance until the point that you’ll be “steaming” when leaving Le P’tit Caribou on your short walk to the hotel.

We are living through trying times now, which brings out the best in people inspired with community spirit. By sharing our memories about the past and dreams about future happy moments with the club we celebrate life, elevate our spirit and generate positive energy to get through the last stages of this pandemic. 

Cheers dear friends to future club trips to Tremblant and many memorable adventures. Our club will be always part of Tremblant history: View this wonderful video of the early days of Tremblant:

Stella, Long Trips Committee volunteer

My Favourite HPSC Trip . . . Jackson Hole 2015

By Christine Bellerose

Jackson Hole, Wyoming March 2015

I have been on many wonderful trips with HPSC and can remember all of them for tons of different reasons, the people, the snow, the resort, the weather, the food… one that stands out in my memory for all of the above is Jackson Hole, March 2015.

This is the trip where…

– One member arrived in a wheelchair but left the trip standing up after days of skiing!

– One member arrived standing up, skied a number of days and left in a wheelchair after breaking a leg at Grand Targhee but still a good sport!

– One member had to be rescued by patrollers after attempting to go down a chute; no, not Corbets Couloir. No name, you know who you are 😆!

– One member was left behind, at the huge 😉Jackson Hole airport on the way back home!

Jackson Hole, Wyoming March 2015

– At least twenty members made it to the Après every day, thanks to some dedicated skiers who stopped early to save us a table!

– We celebrated St Pattys as if COVID had never existed!

While there was the great Jackson Hole skiing, the spirit of the members made this trip a memorable week for all, great skiing and partying! That is what our trips are about! Soon to come again!

Reminder about Membership Deferral

As we announced in January, due to the unusual nature of this season, the Board made the decision to deferral all memberships over to next season.  No action is required on your part. 

Some members have informed us that they would like to invest their current 2020/21 membership back into the club to help with our finances.  We sincerely thank those members who have made this choice.  If you would like to do so as well, please email by March 31st

The club is financially stable and can withstand this unexpected year. However, for this fiscal year (ending April 30th) we will be showing a hopefully “once in a lifetime” sized deficit.  This is mostly due to having to delay recognizing the revenue from all of the deferred memberships until next fiscal year.  In addition, even without running any programs, the club has a number of hard costs such credit card charges, insurance premiums, costs associated with the club house (which will be reduced as of April 1st when move to a virtual setup), costs associated with IT, and the required financial review by our accountant, etc..

On the upside, the club will start the 2021/22 fiscal year with a significant balance of membership revenue already on the books and are very optimistic that membership will boom next fall with many of those who sat out this season, lapsed members, and new members all joining the best adult travelling ski club in the GTA (if not the country!!).

President’s Report – March SnoBiz

Top of The Crack trail in Killarney Provincial Park looking north to the La Cloche mountains – Photo by JK Graham

Dear HPSC Friends!

Spring has arrived here in Ontario and usually we would be planning the last trips of the HPSC season and looking forward to the year-end party.  Unfortunately, this season we never really got started.  All we have to look forward to is next fall and the kickoff to what we hope will be a fantastic rebound year. 

While I am very optimistic about next season, right now I am reminded of when I was hiking in Killarney Provincial Park last fall.  One of the highlight day hikes in Killarney is ‘The Crack’ – which refers to a steep gorge which you must navigate just before reaching the top and the fantastic views of the La Cloche mountains (photo above is from my hike at the top of The Crack).  In the last leg of the hike the direction sign is basically an arrow pointing up!  At this point in time, we are facing the third wave of this pandemic which some are saying will be worse than the previous two.  However, the vaccination rollout has sped up with plans to have all Ontarians (at least those who want one) to have at least the first shot by the beginning of summer. So while we are currently facing a very difficult time, there is a light at the end of all this. 

Please stay safe and do what you personally can to ensure that next season at this time the only topic of conversation will be how fantastic spring skiing is!

Justin Graham

President, High Park Ski Club